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APIs — or application programming interfaces — are the glue that holds modern software together. They are what bring messaging to ride-hailing apps, login authentication to banking apps, and real-time weather to travel apps. At a top level, APIs are helping drive the transition from monolithic software to microservices, which translates into smaller function-based components that are bridged via APIs.
But there’s more to it than that. APIs also help support the modern distributed IT stack, with IoT, edge applications, and databases often spread across disparate public and private infrastructure.
“As companies continue to move to a more digital environment, they create different systems and data sets — all exposed and connected as APIs,” RapidAPI CEO and founder Iddo Gino told VentureBeat. “Unfortunately, because the data and systems are scattered across different development silos, developers can’t easily discover and connect these systems. This causes a lot of duplicated resources and slows down development.”
Mind the gap
While APIs are central components of the modern IT stack, they also play a pivotal role in plugging the much-discussed technical talent gap. Software development teams are already stretched thin, and are often focused on core product development — but it’s not always possible or even necessary to develop every piece of functionality from scratch, when they can just as easily plug into a third-party API that give them that all-important new feature.
“Although the demand for applications is on the rise, the number of developers available in the market will remain fixed for the foreseeable future, creating a huge developer gap — [and] with fewer developers, there is more reliance on APIs,” Gino said.
For businesses such as Cisco, Exxon, and SAP, RapidAPI helps developer teams find the right APIs for their use-case, connect to those APIs, and then test and monitor those APIs to ensure that they remain robust and secure.
Separately, RapidAPI also offers Enterprise Hub, which opens the door for businesses to build their own private API marketplaces spanning internal and external APIs.
Prior to now, RapidAPI had raised around $122 million including a $60 million tranche last year, and with another $150 million in the bank — valuing the San Francisco company at a cool $1 billion — it’s well-financed to continue building out its product for businesses at any stage of their “digital transformation.”
“We are continuing to add the tools and capabilities that will allow all developers — whether an individual or part of a larger enterprise organization — to use APIs to accelerate software development, create APIs to share functionality and data between different systems, and expose APIs as products to customers and partners to drive new revenue streams and business relationships,” Gino said.
RapidAPI’s series D round of funding was led by Softbank, with participation from Microsoft’s M12, Andreessen Horowitz, Citibank, Viola, Green Bay, Grove, Qumra, and Stripes.
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